Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Alignment Workshop: WoD Path/Road in the Cypher System

In the previous post, I discussed the use of "drives" from the Night's Black Agents RPG.  It served some of the purposes of an alignment system in an RPG while avoiding some of the awkwardness of classical systems.  In this post, I will review another alternative system that can fill the role of the alignment system:  the path/road system from various versions of the World of Darkness / Vampire RPG.  Specifically, I am drawing from the soon to be released Vampire: The Dark Ages 20th Anniversary Editions explanation of the road system.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Alignment Workshop: Adapting Drives from Nights Black Agents

As I have been threatening to do, I am starting a series of blog posts on alternatives to the traditional DnD alignment system.  As I reviewed earlier, there have been several criticisms of the traditional alignment system.  That being said, I see an important role played by alignment systems.  When playing DnD, the party's range of alignment give you some sense of how the party will deal with prisoners, respond to offers of dark bargains, etc.  Alignment can also help provide a reason for characters to act.  In the absence of such a system can leave players wondering what their character will do.  The background system can help but I have found that Cypher System characters sometimes need a little more of a push and some signposts for the behavior for their characters.

In this post, I want to discuss you the use character "drives" from Nights Black Agents for characters in The Strange.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Encoding Improvisation

Welcome to my contribution to the GM's Roundtable of Doom.  

This month's topic comes to us courtesy of Marc Plourde:

There are many different skills that come together to make up a GM. The ability to think on the fly, knowledge of the rules, plotting, etc. What skill do you think is your weakest? What have you done to try and improve that skill? What advice do you have to offer others trying to improve that skill set?


I have to admit I struggled with this one.  There are so many areas where I am trying to improve that it is hard to narrow it down to one.  I can definitely use more work on narrative improvisation and balancing attention across players during sessions.  I have more or less given up on developing voices.  What I am working on most, though, is documenting improvised components to create a consistent and reliable world.

"Random Interesting Stuff" by Joe Hackman (flikr)